Declan Rice will take no part in England’s final two World Cup qualifiers having withdrawn from the squad due to illness, while no final decision has been made over whether Mason Mount will join up with Gareth Southgate’s group following dental surgery.
No replacement for Rice has been called up, with Conor Gallagher likely to start for England Under-21 in a qualifier against Czech Republic at Turf Moor tomorrow evening.
The senior team face Albania at Wembley on Friday night before visiting San Marino on Monday. A win in the first game would seal their place in Qatar next year.
Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse had already withdrawn from the squad, along with Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford. That saw Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe receive his first senior call up on Sunday.
Southgate has four midfield options to choose from.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is back in the fold having skipped the last break.
Kalvin Phillips, Rice’s partner throughout the European Championship, has overcome a calf issue while Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has returned to form following injury issues of his own at the end of last season. Manchester City’s Phil Foden impressed when starting in a deeper role away to Andorra last month.
“Declan Rice has withdrawn from the England squad,” an FA statement read.
“Having been unable to train due to illness since reporting to St. George’s Park, the midfielder has returned to West Ham United and will play no part in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
“No additions to the squad are planned at this moment in time. Mason Mount and Luke Shaw are still yet to link up with the group and continue to be assessed following dental surgery and concussion respectively.”
Source by Football London